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Christofias says EU not giving in to Turkey complicates matters
2002-12-12 12:07:52

by Rebekah Gregoriades -- Copenhagen, Dec 12 (CNA) - General Secretary of Cyprus' left-wing AKEL party Demetris Christofias said here today that the EU ''for reasons of its own has not given Turkey its own way'', a position which has complicated matters, adding that as a result Turkey has stiffened its stance.

He told the press in the Danish capital, where the European Council convenes this afternoon, that it seems Cyprus will join the EU during the summit and noted that the Greek Cypriot side was ready to continue negotiations to solve the island's political problem after the Copenhagen summit. |

The Cypriot politician said ''I never had great hopes, I never had the position that it was possible for the two sides to reach a solution and sign it as well in a rush''.

''Of course, things are becoming even more complicated, because it seems that the EU, for reasons of its own, has not given Turkey its own way or it appears that it does not intend to, regarding setting a date for the commencement of accession negotiations, and Turkey is using this to stiffen its stance. Of course, I cannot say for sure what will happen within the next 24 hours'', Christofias added.

He said that from what it seems, ''we will proceed with enlargement, including Cyprus, with the hope that there will be no unbearable conditions, and it appears that there will not be, that the decision will be clean cut even if there are some hopes for the future, taking for a fact that we are ready to continue negotiations until the solution of the Cyprus problem, always in good will''.

Christofias said the Greek Cypriot side ''has been saying continuously that it will continue and is ready to negotiate the Annan plan in good faith''.

''From there on, what the reaction of the Turkish side and Denktash will be, if Turkey's demands are not met regarding its EU course, I think no one can say for sure'', he added.

Asked if the ''15'' were trying to commit the Greek Cypriot side to negotiations on the Annan plan after Copenhagen, Christofias said ''no one has to commit us, we are ready'' but expressed hope that there would be no conditions or terms in the summit's conclusions.

CNA/RG/GP/2002
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGNECY

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